Aloe Vera: Nature’s Healer and Its 7 Wondrous Health Benefits

Commercial aloe vera field.

Aloe vera is a powerful plant that delivers naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, amino acids and an arsenal of skin-soothing effects. (Image: via arubaaloe.com)

There are more than three hundred (300) different kinds of aloe vera plants. Still, Aloe barbadensis (also known as aloe vera) is the most well-known and valued in the health and beauty industries for its curative qualities, according to a study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and BioAllied Sciences.

Aloe vera, also known as “burn plant,” “lily of the desert,” and “elephant’s gall,” has traditionally been used to treat wounds, hair loss, hemorrhoids, and digestive problems. 

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Today, aloe now has its industry. Its juices are used in cosmetics and personal-care products such as moisturizers, soap, shaving cream, and suntan lotion. You’ve probably seen those bright green gels found on drugstore shelves, or perhaps, you’ve used them to treat a bad sunburn after a fun day at the beach. 

Aside from its topical use, aloe vera is also offered as a supplement. This is because it provides the same skin and digestive system advantages as other plant-based remedies.

What kinds of aloe vera are people using?

The plant has two medicinally valuable parts: its aloe leaf and aloe latex.

The aloe leaves are filled with a clear gel extracted from the plant that is commonly used as a topical gel applied to the skin to treat burns and other skin conditions. It can also be orally administered in liquid or capsule form.

On the other hand, the aloe latex is the yellow pulp found just beneath the plant’s leaf’s outer surface. It has been shown to have laxative properties and is commonly used to treat constipation. 

Here are some more health benefits that aloe vera has to offer.

Aloe vera creams soothe the skin and have been shown to reduce itchiness and inflammation.
Aloe vera creams soothe the skin and have been shown to reduce itchiness and inflammation. (Image: arubaaloe.com)

What are the health benefits of aloe vera?

1. Treats certain skin conditions 

Aloe vera creams soothe the skin and have been shown to reduce itchiness and inflammation. In addition, it helps alleviate the redness of the skin due to sunburn. In addition to being anti-inflammatory, it is also said to help manage other skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and even acne. The plant also has antibacterial properties and promotes wound healing.

2. Aids digestion and treats constipation

Aloe vera can be used for individuals with constipation, including those with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) symptoms. The aloe latex contains aloin, an anthraquinone that gives the plant its laxative properties, helps increase water in the intestinal lumen, and helps relieve constipation and symptoms of IBS.

3. Soothe arthritis pain  

The plant is well known for its extraordinary anti-inflammatory capabilities, quickly relieving the pain and swelling associated with arthritis. Additionally, its juice works wonders in reducing the swelling and inflammation strongly related to arthritis. Its anti-inflammatory properties also effectively treat joint and muscle pain. Topically applying aloe gel helps reduce joint inflammation.

4. Stimulates hair growth

Aloe vera is an excellent alternative for promoting hair growth and a natural remedy for baldness. Aloe vera shampoo encourages blood circulation and has anti-inflammatory properties that help treat androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness. In addition, if you use it as a conditioner, you can prevent premature hair loss.

A clinical trial found that two tablespoons of aloe vera juice daily for two weeks lowered blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
A clinical trial found that two tablespoons of aloe vera juice daily for two weeks lowered blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. (Image: Lovelyday12 via Dreamstime)

5. Helps to stabilize blood sugar

A clinical trial found that two tablespoons of aloe vera juice daily for two weeks lowered blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. The study also showed that the participants’ triglyceride levels improved, which could be an added benefit for those with diabetes who are at a higher risk of developing heart disease due to triglyceride and cholesterol abnormalities. 

6. Helps to lower blood pressure

Aloe vera has been shown in studies to help lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Researchers determined that this could be due to two anti-inflammatory components — aloe-emodin and aloin — both of which have anti-inflammatory properties. Of course, aloe vera is not a replacement for exercise, a healthy diet, and medication, all of which can help to lower blood pressure. However, as a complementary therapy, it may be beneficial.

7. Can improve dental and oral health

Aloe vera can also be used to treat dental and gum diseases. You can try this natural remedy at home by sprinkling aloe vera powder on your toothbrush and brushing. This will soothe your gums and heal any infections or bruises you may have. Aloe vera juice can also aid in the health of the gums. Before swallowing, gargle the liquid around your mouth.

The plant and the various gels and extracts that can be made from it can be used in multiple ways. Researchers are constantly discovering new applications for this succulent. If you intend to use aloe vera medicinally, consult your doctor first, especially if you are taking medication.

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